As a SaaS business, creating invoices and billing can feel like a huge task if you are still using manual or legacy billing processes. There are a lot of items to be tracked like recurring revenue, usage data, paid and unpaid invoices, etc., that can become overwhelming if your billing system is not equipped to handle the complexities associated with recurring payments.
Often companies choose a billing solution that meets their needs in the short term, but as they grow and scale, these billing systems can no longer keep up with the growth. Cracks start appearing in the form of customer complaints about inaccurate bills or frustrations of billing departments from spending hours manually inputting billing data.
Creating invoices and handling other billing issues is an essential part of getting paid. That goes without saying. But what may be less obvious is how you can benefit from introducing automation into your billing process. The efficiency, ease of use, and features of a billing system can make or break the operations of a business. But how do you know if your billing system is doing the job for you?
Below are some of the telltale signs it could be time to upgrade your billing system and how a modern solution can help you overcome them.
1. Your billing system cannot support your new services
Do you have to ask your billing service provider for support every time you make a pricing change or add a service? Is your billing system unable to account for increased complexities in your business? Maybe your business has grown out of your billing provider. Also, if your billing system can no longer accurately charge for your customer’s usage or account for taxation in different markets it may cause an issue.
You need a billing service provider that supports all your pricing variations and complexities that arises as you grow and scale. You do not want to spend thousands of dollars and hours dealing with issues resulting from old unscalable billing processes. A cloud-based billing solution like LogiSense streamlines business expansion by scaling services and capabilities to meet the needs of your growing business.
When you are launching a new product or entering a new market, the accounting and finance departments need to scale in sync. If your development team produces a new product launch then your billing system should be able to support it. If they are unable then you need to look for a billing solution better suited to your needs.
2. You suspect you are leaking revenue
Revenue leakage is what happens when companies unintentionally leave money on the table. It doesn't take a finance expert to know that this is not desirable. There are several common contributors to revenue leakage that a billing system can help flag or eliminate altogether. These leaks are often the result of either under-billing customers for the products and services they have used or failing to bill them together which occurs when you bill manually or use legacy billing systems. Other contributors to revenue leakage may be from unpaid or well overdue invoices, data entry errors, incorrect subscription databases, to name a few. These errors and inefficiencies associated with manual billing can quickly add up and take a toll on your business.
Companies that move from spreadsheets and manual entry to a SaaS Billing solution that automates billing processes allow them to eliminate revenue leakage and realize benefits within months rather than years. Revenue leakage, no matter how big or small, is a problem that indicates that your billing solution needs an upgrade.
3. Back office billing is overworked and inefficient
Managing your billing effectively can help smooth out your finances and keep your company healthy and growing. However, there are a number of issues that can prevent your billing department from operating efficiently. If your billing department has to switch between multiple programs just to correctly ascertain usage and billing data, maybe you need an all-in-one billing system that lets you offer a hybrid of consumption and subscription pricing methods in one place without the need to integrate with multiple programs. Customer management can be a time-consuming process for the billing team - a billing solution that offers an effective way of categorizing sign-ups, activations, trials, upgrades, and downgrades will go a long way in improving the efficiency of a billing department.
4. Customers are complaining about inaccurate bills
Ensuring that your customers have a seamless experience with your business should be a top priority especially if you are counting on retaining your customers. Your product may be top-notch but your customers may still be unhappy if they think they are being overcharged. Delivering an inaccurate invoice to a customer is a surefire way to damage the relationship and foster an untrusting relationship. If your invoice does not clearly explain recurring and usage charges, unhappy customers will contact you either to get clarifications or request refunds which is a huge drain to the customer service department. If you are unable to resolve your invoicing issues your customers will churn. Alleviating inaccurate bills will not only free up valuable customer service time but lead to happier customers with less churn.
A billing system that can automate these processes can eliminate manual error from entry and improve efficiencies. Mistakes happen, but that doesn’t mean that they should. Avoid any mistakes by switching to an automated billing system to protect customer satisfaction.
5. You are unable to price products the way you want
As customers' needs evolve, so does the need for a billing system that can accommodate new pricing models. Gone are the days where customers will accept a one size fits all approach. Having the ability to create custom pricing models allows for creative go-to-market strategies and the ability to foster growth and acquire new customers. Has your product or marketing team approached billing about rolling out a new product or service that the billing system cannot accommodate? Perhaps your billing system is starting to hold you back and prevent you from capturing market share. A modern billing solution can grow with you and help you bring new products to market in creative ways, not hinder this process.
6. Manual billing processes are causing too many errors
Many new businesses rely on spreadsheets and manual workflows to create invoices and bill their customers. However, as their business grows and complicated pricing models are introduced, the billing department can become overwhelmed and overworked trying to maintain multiple spreadsheets to track bills, payments, and recognize revenue. These are signs that the business has grown out of manual billing processes.
If your invoices and payments do not match the services delivered then you are losing out on revenue which can be responsible for huge losses and you need to look for alternative billing solutions that can correctly determine the usage data and capture the revenue you are owed.
Switching to an automated billing solution lets you connect systems together and automate business rules with automated workflows to eliminate errors associated with manual processes.
7. You are missing data/reporting
Another common sign that it might be time to upgrade your billing system is an overall lack of data. If you are finding it challenging to generate reports, and gather billing insights from your current system, this could be a sign it's time for an upgrade. A modern billing solution can create custom reports and dashboards that give you visibility in all areas of the customer lifecycle. Having this data can empower your teams to make improvements and find new creative ways to boost revenue. A modern solution can also easily give visibility to all members of the organization rather than having this data siloed and inaccessible on dated systems.
If these signs seem all too familiar to your organization contact one of our billing experts today to learn more about how switching to an automated billing system can protect critical business processes and position your business to grow successfully.
A modern billing solution like LogiSense can integrate with your existing systems to establish a single source of truth and take away the manual error-prone methodologies involved in dated software or spreadsheet-driven processes. The less you do manually, the more you’ll be able to aim for accuracy—and you’ll likely learn a lot from these processes and get back some time. While making this move to an automated billing system may seem like a large undertaking, it can turn out to be a seamless transition if you choose a billing system suited to your business needs.